General practice registrars’ intentions for future practice: Implications for rural medical workforce planning.
Australian Journal of Primary Health, 22 (5), 440-444.
The models of practice that general practice registrars (GPRs) envisage undertaking will affect workforce supply. The aim of this research was to determine practice intentions of current GPRs in a regional general practice training program (Coast City Country General Practice Training). Questionnaires were circulated to 220 GPRs undertaking general practice placements to determine characteristics of ideal practice models and intentions for future practice. Responses were received for 99 participants (45%). Current GPRs intend to work an average of less than eight half-day sessions/week, with male participants intending to work more hours (t(91) = 3.528, P = 0.001). More than one-third of this regional cohort intends to practice in metropolitan centres. Proximity to family and friends was the most important factor influencing the choice of practice location. Men ranked remuneration for work as more important (t (88) = –4.280, P < 0.001) and women ranked the ability to work part-time higher (t(94) = 3.697, P < 0.001). Fee-for-service payment alone, or in combination with capitation, was the preferred payment system. Only 22% of Australian medical graduates intend to own their own practice compared with 52% of international medical graduates (χ2(1) = 8.498, P = 0.004). Future general practitioners (GPs) intend to work fewer hours than current GPs. Assumptions about lifestyle factors, practice models and possible professional roles should be carefully evaluated when developing strategies to recruit GPs and GPRs into rural practice.
health workforce, international medical graduates, practice intentions, work–life balance